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Many individuals may see their loved ones off to work in the morning and fully intend on seeing them after they get home later in the evening. Unfortunately, not all workers make it home as workplace accidents can cause serious and fatal injuries in some cases. Loved ones are then left wondering how the accident took place and possibly whether workers' compensation may be able to help their situation.

A company in Illinois was recently cited due to the deaths of two workers that took place last year. It was reported that the employees were working on rail cars when they were exposed to a fatal level of hydrogen sulfide gas. They were working in a small, enclosed space, and the gas exposure caused them to suffer from asphyxiation.

The company was cited for eight violations in relation to the incident. The workers did not have what was described as an emergency retrieval system while they were cleaning the rail cars. It was also noted that the company did not test the environment and did not receive the proper permits before allowing the workers to perform their duties in the space. A representative for the Occupational Health and Safety Administration considered the incident to have been preventable.

Though the company must now contend with the fines that resulted from the fatal incident, the families of the deceased workers may have more emotional trials to work through. The loss of a loved one can have lasting impacts and affect various aspects of a person's life. Along with the emotional struggles, the families may also suffer financially. Due to the nature of the incident, the families of the victims could potentially be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. A better understanding of how these benefits are awarded in Illinois may be valuable.

Source: centralillinoisproud.com, "OSHA Cites Agridyne for Deadly June Incident", Jan. 7, 2015

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Bonifield & Rosenstengel
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Belleville, IL 62220

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